The Amish Wedding Dinner – a model of consistency

In western culture, weddings are an elaborate ceremony, but perhaps the receptions are even more elaborate, inundated with fine hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a unique meal. Conversely, the Amish culture dictates that all weddings be homogenous, from the timing to the food. Yes, every Amish wedding features the exact same food selections.

On the menu

Though much Amish tradition is grounded in secrecy, we do know the nature of the food of which guests partake.

The quintessential dish is known as “Amish casserole”, and features chicken and celery-based stuffing – Amish cooking emphasizes the use of celery in a variety of ways, and as such, it is a staple in many dishes. Aside from the Amish casserole, weddings feature a selection of starches ranging from noodles with brown butter and cheese to mashed potatoes.

Vegetables include carrots, corn, Harvard beets, and coleslaw. The meal would not be complete, however, without a selection of cakes, pies, and cookies for dessert.

If that sounds good...

Some restaurants seek to emulate the offerings. Linda’s Country Kitchen in Shrewsbury, PA notes that when they occasionally serve the meal, they utilize 35 chickens, 10 gallons of bread cubes for filling, 48 quarts of creamed celery, 12 gallons of mashed potatoes, and several tubs of coleslaw. This is analogous to a typical Amish wedding, which serves about 300-400 people.

Cooking for that many people without electricity? It is a team effort.

According, guests must be served in shifts, so teams of dishwashers and other helpers assist the cook in serving the guests.

Also, in the Amish culture, there is a strong sense of community, and as such, when women arrive as guests for the wedding, they generally help the cook, often the mother, in preparations – many hands make light work.

Tis the season

Remember, the Amish are predominantly agriculturalists, and can ill-afford to relinquish a day during harvesting season to celebrate impending nuptials.

Previously, weddings occurred only on Tuesdays and Thursdays in November. Now, however, they occur throughout the fall, winter, and spring due to the number of couples getting married. Nevertheless, they do not occur in summer to avoid interference with agricultural production, the key to the Amish’s livelihood.

About Katie’s Kitchen

Katie's Kitchen is an Amish owned and operated family restaurant conveniently located on Rt. 896 near Strasburg, Pennsylvania. We feature a large dining room with booth seating and a lunch counter looking in on our kitchen. We also offer shaded picnic tables for guests who want to enjoy their meals in the great outdoors. All menu items are available for takeout. Come visit us to enjoy some real Lancaster County Amish cooking!